Politics

Conservative Spotlight: USINPAC

The New World Order of the United Nations, European Union, and other such organizations continues to be a threat, especially as anti-American feeling waxes in so many countries around the world. But there is another new world order developing as well. Countries and populations are choosing sides in the post-9/11 environment, which has given a new overarching definition to geopolitics since the Cold War’s end deprived the previous world order of its raison d’etre. Many large countries and regions, such as Continental Europe and Brazil, are increasingly aligning themselves with America’s enemies from Communist China to Communist Cuba-and maybe even with radical Muslims.

But India, a nuclear power soon to be the world’s most populous country and one with tremendous economic potential, wants to throw her lot in with us despite her former years in the Soviet orbit. India has chosen to align herself with the emerging pro-American bloc of the world’s nations that includes Britain, Israel, and many of the former Soviet satellite states of Eastern Europe.

India’s government could not have made a clearer statement of this intention when it welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for a state visit in September. Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was seen shaking hands with Sharon in a photo-op that most of the world’s heads of government would run away from at Olympic speed.

This world order newly emerging after 9/11 helped to spur the founding of the U.S. India Political Action Committee (USINPAC), the first and only PAC for Indian-Americans. “We were founded about a year and a half ago,” said USINPAC Executive Director Sanjay Puri in a recent interview. He noted that Indian-Americans have a per capita income of over $60,000 and have money to donate to politics. “There are a large number of Indian-Americans who are physicians, motel owners, small businessmen,” he said.

“Our No. 1 legislative priority in 2004 is terrorism,” said Sue Ghosh Stricklett, an attorney and member of USINPAC’s Defense and Strategic Affairs Committee. In particular, she said, USINPAC would like legislation passed imposing “accountability” on Pakistan, India’s arch-nemesis and a country often reckoned an American ally. She said that Pakistan’s military dictator, Pervez Musharraf, allows Pakistan’s many radical Muslims to do as they please while receiving a billion dollars a year in American aid. “People talk about the madrasas, the religious schools, but the public school system is also radicalized,” she said.

Pakistani Muslim terrorists have been found all over the world, and Pakistan’s government tolerates the Muslim terrorists who afflict predominantly Hindu India from their Pakistani bases in the long-running battle over Kashmir. “The terrorism directed against India is the same as that directed against the United States and Israel,” said Stricklett. “We would like to see closer ties between the United States and India. Right now, India feels that Israel is a closer friend than the United States, and we would like to change that.”

India can also play a valuable role in combating the growing power of mainland China, which is openly hostile to the United States. Instead of investing in-and thus enriching-a Communist enemy of the West, American businesses can invest in India, a stable, democratic nation with a large number of intelligent, English-speaking young people hungry for jobs.

“The economy there is booming,” said Puri. “Goldman Sachs says there could be 7% growth each year for the next ten years. This President [Bush] has done more than anybody else to raise the level of our relationship with India.”

“The United States has undertaken a transformation in its bilateral relationship with India based on a conviction that U.S. interests require a strong relationship with India,” says the National Security Strategy of the United States of America of September 2002. “We are the two largest democracies, committed to political freedom protected by representative government. India is moving toward greater economic freedom as well. We have a common interest in the free flow of commerce, including through the vital sea-lanes of the Indian Ocean. Finally, we share an interest in fighting terrorism and in creating a strategically stable Asia.”

USINPAC is officially non-partisan, working with Republicans and Democrats. It has even attracted presidential candidates Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D.-Conn.) and Howard Dean to some of its events-as well as Republicans. USINPAC favors immigration to a degree that many conservatives oppose-but in a way that could be helpful to some of the efforts of immigration reform activists. “We feel we should bring in people who have skills we need and who share our values,” said Puri. “And who speak the language.”

USINPAC may be reached at P.O. Box 222424, Chantilly, Va. 20153 (703-488-6880; fax: 703-802-6152; e-mail: [email protected]; website: www.usinpac.com).


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